The Centennial State, Colorado just got another 100, Walmart’s 100th solar installation in the U.S. Through a partnership with SolarCity the retailer recently completed six new solar projects.
The most recent installations total two megawatts spread over six stores along Colorado’s front range. Three of the solar stores are in Westminster. The other solar installations are on stores in Lakewood, Highlands Ranch and Lafayette. “The solar installations will provide up to 20 to 30 percent of each location’s total electric needs,” said Walmart spokesperson Brooke Buchanan. The arrays will generate nearly 3 million kilowatt-hours annually the equivalent of powering more than 225 homes.
SolarCity designed and installed all the systems in Colorado, according to Buchanan. It also owns all the systems. Walmart is buying the electricity they produce under a power-purchase agreement, she said. The systems were designed to reduce Walmart’s energy bills at the stores.
The installations will help Colorado meet its 30 percent renewable portfolio standard, which requires public utilities to source 30 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2020, Walmart said. The projects were designed the systems for Colorado’s high-wind and snowy environment to show that solar is cost-effective even in the large flat-roof environment.
The installations are part of Walmart’s bigger efforts to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable resources, the company said. But considering that it has 86 facilities in Colorado and 10,130 stores across the world, it’s still got a way to go.
With 100 installations Walmart’s already got solar on more U.S. roofs than furniture giant Ikea, which already is putting solar on 85 percent or 38 of its facilities in the U.S. Then again, Ikea only has 44 facilities in the U.S., less than Walmart has in Colorado alone.
Walmart’s not stopping with the stores in Colorado either. The company previously announced that through SolarCity it’s looking to install solar on 60 more stores in California. If all are completed that would represent more than 75 percent of its stores in the state.